Reviews for Snake Eyes
M.T.Pockets chapter 18 . 9/27/2015
I think this is the first time I have every reviewed a story as a whole. I was really excited about it, ready to take notes and everything. However, due to troubles in my personal life and needing a distraction I didn't take very good notes, especially from around chapters 11-14.

To be clear I have not read The Champion's Beginning. I decided to read this story because of how much I like The Leader's Origin. Lea always seemed like an interesting character to me and I loved how his influence shaped the region in The Leader's Origin. Yet, he was mysterious and I didn't really understand him. I wanted to know more about him so I finally managed to get around to reading Snake Eyes.

In the past I've found that reading an author's older works is never as good because the experience they gained from writing that older work is what helped them become a better writer. When I start reading an author's older story I know it probably won't be as good as what I've already read. I do my best not to hold the expectations I am used to against it. For this reason, I'm finding it really hard to review Snake Eyes.

Writing a backstory for a villain often seems to be a high risk-high reward kind of situation. Its challenging and different from what we usually write. Happier stories often putforward plucky protagonists who we feel pain for in the tough times, but are always cheering for. Tragedies take well-intentioned people and twist everything against them. I feel as though there isn't really any standard when it comes to back stories for villains. Usually they're just a part of the actual story rather than a story itself. Snake Eyes was a really ambitious project and I admire the time and effort that was put into it.

Yet, I can't say I really like Snake Eyes. I don't dislike it either. I just could never get past the feeling that there was something missing. A huge part of this might be that I haven't read The Champion's Beginning, but I can't say for sure. The writing does improve a lot over the course of the story. The first chapters felt unclear to me. We don't even know how old Lea is in the first two. Meanwhile, chapter 17 stands out as truly the best part of the story, especially the scene between Lea and his father. That scene was fantastic. Yet, its an awfully long time to wait for it. To be honest, the first half of the story is pretty boring.

Lots of the side characters were memorable. Nella, Haystack, Tails, Lea's father, and Maroon are all well developed despite the short amount of time they were in the story. I took an instant liking to Annie that stuck with me throughout the story. I wish we there was more with her so that I could understand her better, especially at the end. I wish it explored more why and how she was changing. Its easy to make guesses, but I like to know things for certain. I can only imagine what her battle with Lea must of been like for the title of champion. Its a shame it wasn't included. When we were first introduced to Cloud/Storm/Ace I really didn't like him. I wrote this off to Lea having crappy taste in friends and knowing what a crappy person he would be in the end. When we finally meet him again he seems almost like a different person and for the most part I really liked him. Probably due to the improvement in the writing, he became a much more developed and memorable character. There were some moments I thought were odd such as a subtle threat he made about Lea leaving and then being completely okay with Lea leaving. I liked that through it all he still seemed to value his friendship with Lea, but it also felt kind of out of place. Still, I really liked most of the characters.

Unfortunately from both an objective and subjective standpoint I can't say I really like either Lea or Giratina as characters. They both feel ambiguous and undefined. I'm a little more accepting of Giratina because his motivation is clearer and I think in part he's supposed to be mysterious and hard to understand. I just wish that in the beginning there was something creepy about him or at some point I knew why he was interested in Lea specifically. Lea never seems especially anything to me other than and I really don't like to say this- but bland. Sure when I read The Leader's Origin I'll be able to appreciate his backstory more, but I'll never know much about him as a person. Despite knowing his backstory I can't say I really know why he's such a... jerk to put it lightly. Why did he bring back eating pokemon meat and hunting? I don't know. I was never really sure what it was Lea was after. Annie's love? Power? The title of Champion? Respect? Independence? I never really know. He can want more than one thing, but he doesn't seem to want anything more than the average person would. What I really wanted to know was what drove Lea to become who he is? I'm never really sure. I know the golden rule of "show it, don't say it." Yet, I think in a story where the reader is probably trying to better understand a character, a little introspection isn't a bad thing. You don't want things to be ambiguous. I couldn't understand at the end why he was fighting with people, especially Ace whom he had even risked Annie for. Where did the sudden superiority come from? I think things could of been much better if we saw that final transition from the character we've been reading about to Lea Evil Ruler of Sinnoh/Champion. I know were not supposed to like Lea, but I if things were clearer I probably could of been more emotionally involved in the story. I liked Annie so I thought it was sad that things fell out with Lea, they could have been co-champions and had double battles, but we know that won't happen. That is until the part about her wanting to change him. I personally hate it when the romantic interest tries to change their partner. It never works and in this case made me wonder what Annie ever saw in him anyway.

I think its important in a story where you know the end is sad to give readers a sense of hope and something to cling to. Yet, Lea is a villain so that's hard to do. This was a really ambitious and challenging project that didn't really reach its potential. If I reviewed this more frequently I probably would have added in little things I liked such as the battle against Cruz. However, as a whole Snake Eyes feels bland and uneventful. I really love the world it takes place in and will still probably read The Champion's Beginning. It's not a bad fic, it just isn't a good one either. Its average and I think served more as a learning experience for the writer (whose later work is much better, which makes it worthwhile) than as a must read story. I really hope the writer continues to grow because I want to read more of the stories from this time in Sinnoh.

Again, I haven't read The Champion's Beginning so maybe I was missing something. This is my perspective as someone who hasn't read it.
DeathGoblin chapter 18 . 6/13/2014
This was a solid lead-in to "The Champion's Beginning" and the quotes fit well with Lea's mental state. This definitely feels better writing than TCB (from what I remember) and I have to agree with you on The Puppet Master chapter.

It was a fun ride and I'm looking forward to the other plans you have for this story universe.
DeathGoblin chapter 17 . 6/13/2014
This chapter was really dark, but it also felt tragic. I agree with Lea's father, even if it wasn't really all according to his plan there's no doubt his parenting had a lasting influence on his son. Something about that just feels realistic. The ending was really dark. I assume Lea's father died in the fire, having given up on life or something.
Espeonage Espeon chapter 18 . 6/7/2014
Good work on tying this with The Champion's Beginning. Honestly, I thought I'd have a lot more to say, but really, I've given you my praises before.

- Espeon
Espeonage Espeon chapter 17 . 6/7/2014
Holy crap, Lea is badass. He just set his house on fire. Kudos, to that. It's great, really.

This chapter flows marvelously. Absolutely marvelously. I love it. Everything just fits.

Did you write this chapter in one sitting? It feels that way.

Good work. This story is amazing, friend. I expect more great works in the future!

- Espeon
Espeonage Espeon chapter 16 . 5/25/2014
This is a pretty good chapter, though definitely different from your typical style. I like it, but I do think each of the parts would be better off as their own chapters. Sort of. It's difficult to explain...

But it's really good. There's one place where the starting word of a sentence isn't capitalized. It starts a line of dialogue, and the word is "no".

This is a really good story, friend. Can't wait for the end!

- Espeon
DeathGoblin chapter 16 . 5/24/2014
This chapter felt a little less immersive because it skipped through time, but I also liked the progression a lot. Lea and Annie's disagreements make sense. Giratina's role was also nicely done. There was one point (I think it's the start of Part II) where Lea describes Annie in the present tense for one sentence and then moves to the past tense, but other than that, the grammar seemed okay.

I'll be looking forward to the next chapter.
DeathGoblin chapter 15 . 5/15/2014
Even though it didn't advance the plot much, it felt like a nice setup. One thing I thought was a missed opportunity was seeing more of a confrontation between Annie and Lea about his job. Overall, I'm glad tat the story is moving away from the casino scene and back on the road. I'm curious as to how and at what point it'll end.

I'll be looking forward to the next chapter.
Espeonage Espeon chapter 15 . 5/11/2014
Greetings, friend earthling of earth! It has been quite a while, has it not? My apologies; I have been rather busy with life.

Nonetheless, I am here now to review the most recent chapter of your current fanfiction. So shall I get on with it? I do believe I shall.

First and foremost, you misspelled your chapter title. Fanfiction says, currently, that it is "The Right-Hand-Mam" and, after reading the chapter, I am most inclined to believe that this is a typo.

Secondly, your chapter is good. I don't really have anything of major importance to add because it is pretty well-written, so good work!

Thirdly, what are your opinions on Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby? Which one delights you more?

Fourthly, this story is ending soon? Very sad. But it is also good. I'm excited.

Fifthly, the inner mechanisms of my brain are currently and have been beset by a storm of great proportions, hence why I have not actually written anything of consequence recently, but I suspect that shall change. I only have a single class left until summer, so I am most excited.

DeathGoblin chapter 14 . 3/23/2014
I'm glad you updated. One thing I would suggest is reading the chapter out loud. The fight scene dragged a little and rereading it can help you make it flow better. I'm doing that with one of my own stories and it helped me cut out a lot of filler.
Anyway, I'm glad you're planning to finish this. I'll be looking forward to the next chapter.
DeathGoblin chapter 13 . 1/15/2014
I took me a while to get around to reading this. While Lea does seem messed up and whiny, I am rooting for him (and he was suffering from an emotional overdose anyway). The chapter name definitely fits. It was nice seeing him conversing more with Giratina. However, I would like for the plot to pick up a little more (like getting Lea moving to the next gym). I'll be looking forward to the next chapter.
DeathGoblin chapter 12 . 12/2/2013
I'd say that Ace is my favorite character so far. I don't like him as a person, but as a character, he fits his role perfectly. While Annie moving on makes sense, I also expected her to find out about Lea's (dirtier) work and disapprove of it. So it's an interesting surprise to see her leave without finding out. I'll be looking forward to the next chapter.
Friendly Furret chapter 11 . 11/30/2013
I thought this fic was dead but I am glad it's not!

Err...but idk ANYTHING about it. It has been so long I forgot the whole plot! Pwetty please make regular updates from now on. Thank you :3
DeathGoblin chapter 11 . 11/29/2013
I liked the conversations Lea had with Ace and Giratina. It looks like there will be a conflict later on. As for the scene with Annie, I thought the paragraph at the end was a bit large, but it was still nice to see them interacting again. I'll be looking forward to the next chapter, and happy thanksgiving to you as well.
DeathGoblin chapter 10 . 11/17/2013
I think you've done well nailing the general tone (dark and gritty, but not too gruesome), and the tone fits the story considering what Lea is going to become. If you're worried about some moments being darker than others, it's okay. Stories can vary their tone a little as long as they remain within the same range. If you're following up a very serious moment with something cartoony (which you haven't) you're doing fine, to me at least.

Also, I can definitely relate when it comes to stories I almost want to stop. In my case it's a DBZ story that i'm trying to finish up so I can continue work on my pokemon story without any guilt of abandoning it. I find consuming related media to be helpful as well as rereading the story (pretending to be a reader instead of an author). Also, there might be certain times of the day when you're more receptive to writing stories (for me its the morning).

I'll be looking forward to the next chapter. Also, I agree with you on upstream.
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